Lost: One of Them
by C.K. Sample, III, posted Feb 15th 2006 10:56PM
Tonight's episode of Lost focuses on Sayid's past, beginning in a flashback with Sayid being captured by Americans during the Gulf War. I have to say from the previews, I was expecting a lot out of this episode, and unfortunately, in comparison to all the other recent episodes, I was sorely let down. There was no mention of Sawyer's coup from the last episode. No concern over his stockpile of guns. That entire story line was virtually dropped and we were left with a comic relief subplot featuring Hurley and Sawyer as if they were in some weird buddy cop movie, trekking through the woods of the island in search of a tree frog that had been keeping Sawyer awake at night. What's the deal with Sawyer and animals? In the first season, he chases down that baby boar who steals his tarp and in this episode he's pulling the same, "I'm going to track it down and kill it...
More (with spoilers and more about the image accompanying this post) after the jump...
...only this time he does kill the frog. Last time, Kate had been there to play his conscience, and convince him to let the baby boar go, but this time, he's left with fat Hurley who has been blackmailed into helping track down the frog, because he has a secret food stash that Sawyer knows about. Sawyer listens to Hugo's thoughts about him taking the frog away and letting it go, only to say, "Or we could do this" as he squishes the frog dead in his hand and proclaims, "With a little ranch they taste just like chicken." Sure, we get a slight reminder that he's a bad bad dude, but really not what I was expecting post last week's "There's a new sheriff in town" speech.
Instead, the episode focuses on Sayid being a torturer and to show that he is a torturer, we start with Ana Lucia coming out of the woods looking for Jack, having tracked Rousseau / Danielle. Sayid goes with her and tells her that he will deal with it and tells her to go back and tell no one, which oddly for her character, she seems to do, as we don't see her for the rest of the episode. Sayid asks Rousseau what she is doing and she says "Looking for you." She has caught one of the Others in a trap which she set. Sayid cuts him down and he starts to run away before Rousseau shoots him in the back with a crossbow. Here we see Sayid in the position that we will later see Jack, thinking that the guy is not one of the Others, but just another guy who crashed on the island. However, and this was another big flaw in the episode in my opinion, I don't know what happened to change Sayid's mind.
Sayid brings the guy back to the bunker and there is a very funny line when Jack says, "You shot him with an arrow?" and Sayid retorts quickly, "Do I have a bow?" Sayid talks Locke into changing the combination on the gun closet so that Jack won't know it (Locke seems to be doing lots of things like this of late), drags the guy in the closet, locks the door, and begins torturing the guy.
During all of this, we keep getting flashbacks with Sayid being made into a torturer by the U.S. troops (including Kate's father) who captured him in the Gulf War, making him torture his own superior officer. At the end of the experience he says that what they made him do, no man should ever have to do. The commanding officer retorts "Someday you will want to know something from someone..." or something of the same ilk and gives him about a thousand dollars in American cash and leaves him in Iraq as they withdraw with smoke billowing in the background. Very cinematic, but very flat.
In the torture room with the Other, the guy sticks to his story that he crashed in a balloon with his wife four months ago and that she died on the island and that he buried her. When the guy asks Sayid who he is, he gives him his name and then says, "I am a torturer." During the interrogation Sayid yells that he is lying because the guy doesn't recall how deep the grave he dug for his wife was, and Sayid says, "If you had buried the woman you loved on this island, you would remember!" with tears pouring down his face, remembering his own experiences with burying Shannon. The captive tries to relate to him at this point, and then Sayid really loses it and starts beating and kicking the guy.
This leads to a huge confrontation between Locke and Jack outside the door, where Jack insists that Locke give him the combination or he won't let him push the button, which he now calls Locke's button. Locke opens the door and runs over to enter the numbers on the computer as the clock counts down from 10. He fumbles entering the wrong numbers at first, and this was really a point where I thought, "Oh come on! Really?" I mean if anyone is obsessed with those numbers it is Locke and there is no way he would fumble them like that, no matter how hurried he was. The countdown hits zero as he's about halfway through entering the numbers, and the numbers of the countdown are replaced with new black and red flaps that contain different glyphs (pictured above with this post). The first to appear is the bird, then the bomb / rocket, followed by the odd stick or upside-down angled Y on the far right, and then followed by the hook glyph shown on the far left, which I think may be a fishing pole. The last of the six glyphs was about to appear when Locke snaps back out of it and finishes entering the numbers, hitting the execute key, and everything returns to the normal countdown. Lame.
Jack pulls Sayid off of the captive and Sayid says that he is an Other. Jack asks if he told him that, and Sayid says no, but that he knows he is an Other. Locke says, "To Rousseau we're all others. I guess it is all relative huh?"
The last scene of the episode features Sayid on the beach talking to Charlie, saying that he knows that guy is an Other, because he felt no guilt when torturing him and he knows that he cannot explain that to Jack and Locke. Charlie asks why and Sayid replies, "Because they have forgotten..." that the Others strung up Charlie and left him for dead, kidnapped Claire, grabbed Kate, took Walt, and can basically kill all of them any time they want because they are Others. This last bit was kind of interesting because it sets up Sayid to be on the Charlie and Sawyer side of things against Locke and Jack (maybe) but there were too many odd disconnects for me to really like the episode. And the countdown hitting 0 with nothing really happening was a real lame rip-off. The producers of the show need to start giving us some real answers soon rather than the tease of the black-cloud monster and these glyphs, or this show is going to quickly unravel itself. One step forward two steps back. What do you think?